Both the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal agree that, since illegal crossings are down at the Mexican border, it’s time to proceed to amnesty and huge increases in immigration (9 percent unemployment? Who cares!). The border is safer than it’s ever been, in the words of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. The only thing left to do is dig a moat and fill it with alligators, joked President Obama.
Well, someone didn’t tell the two retired generals who’ve just released “Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment”:
During the past two years the state of Texas has become increasingly threatened by the spread of Mexican cartel organized crime. The threat reflects a change in the strategic intent of the cartels to move their operations into the United States. In effect, the cartels seek to create a “sanitary zone” inside the Texas border — one county deep — that will provide sanctuary from Mexican law enforcement and, at the same time, enable the cartels to transform Texas’ border counties into narcotics transshipment points for continued transport and distribution into the continental United States. To achieve their objectives the cartels are relying increasingly on organized gangs to provide expendable and unaccountable manpower to do their dirty work. These gangs are recruited on the streets of Texas cities and inside Texas prisons by top-tier gangs who work in conjunction with the cartels.
The authors are Barry McCaffrey, Clinton’s drug czar and former proconsul of Latin America (aka, head of the Southern Command), and Robert Scales, former head of the Army War College. Which is good because what we’re facing on the border is no longer analogous to war — it is war:
America’s fight against narco-terrorism, when viewed at the strategic level, takes on the classic trappings of a real war. Crime, gangs and terrorism have converged in such a way that they form a collective threat to the national security of the United States. America is being assaulted not just from across our southern border but from across the hemisphere and beyond. All of Central and South America have become an interconnected source of violence and terrorism. Drug cartels exploit porous borders using all the traditional elements of military force, including command and control, logistics, intelligence, information operations and the application of increasingly deadly firepower. The intention is to increasingly bring governments at all levels throughout the Americas under the influence of international cartels.
And this comports with what I heard from ranchers in Arizona earlier this year, that the numbers are down, but the danger level is up:
Farmers and ranchers whose families have spent generations on the Texas side of the border reflect on how the character and intent of border crossing immigrants have changed over the past three years. They now see most of the intruders on their land as men tattooed with the marks of cartels, gangs and in some cases Hezbollah members. They are confronted often with border-crossers who demand to use their phones or trucks. Texas homes are now surrounded by strangers who harass the owners until they concede their land for use by the cartels. Farmers refuse to travel at night.
And it’s not just drugs and obviously not limited to Texas; as Gen. Scales told Great Van Susteren:
Not only drugs. Think of the transshipment, very dangerous people by the cartels across the border from places like Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, and Ethiopia. They’re coming across the border paid for by the cartels. Many of them get across without being registered. This is an insidious problem that goes beyond drugs. It deals in human trafficking, the war on terrorism, on and on and on. This is an American, not just a Texas problem.
It looks like Glynn Custred was prophetic in his piece a couple years back outlining possible military options if the dren hits the fan in Mexico. Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen on BHO’s watch, because it would make President Gore’s response to 9/11 look muscular in comparison.